To the man who attacked me, here’s how my week went

Painting studies, pain aux raisins, and reading under the trees and a summer breeze.

On Monday, a man with a knife attacked me in my neighborhood.

On Tuesday, I talked details on one of the coolest projects anyone has ever asked me to be a part of.

On Wednesday, I got pain aux raisins over a great peer mentorship conversation with two amazing businesswomen, at the bakery on the street corner where less than 48 hours before I thought I was going to die.

In less than one month, I’m going to be a Tough Mudder.

11855843_10100817384895942_2667906983603252623_n

To the people of Madison, I’m so grateful to live in a city where 1) I feel safe walking alone and 2) The people nearby responded so proactively. Several people heard me scream, three men went running down the bike path to search for the guy, and the bartender at Willy Street Pub called me inside to give me water and a pen to start writing down the man’s description as I called 911.

Of course, things could have gone better. The K9 could have tracked the guy down, the police could have arrested him. I have no idea if he’ll ever get caught, if he even might be a neighbor that I’ll run into and get startled by one day. To my female friends in Madison especially, take precaution, particularly around the Paterson/Willy Street area. It sucks and it’s not fair, but being a strong, independent woman won’t protect you from getting attacked.

That said, it could have also gone a shit ton worse. Thank goodness my reflex was to scream like hell and run, not freeze. (To anyone who ever criticized me for being “too crazy” or “too loud,” screw you.) Thank goodness he hit me with the hand holding the knife, but not the knife. Thank goodness I have such amazing friends who called as soon as I let them know what happened, and not because I’m weak, but because they love me precisely because I am not weak.

To the guy who attacked me, I’m sorry you consider violence your only option, your greatest option. I’m sorry that your life has made you ignorant enough to be malicious.

The thing is, this could have ruined my week, without him even stabbing me. Just the idea of damage is enough sometimes. But I’m lucky not to be ignorant and to have enough life experience to know that there’s what could have happened, there’s what did happen, and there’s how you respond to both.

And what I’m finding now is this: I can still have dinner near the same corner where I was attacked. I am more anxious about the positive than the negative, about upcoming opportunities, about living up to an expectation (can I really do this?). I still worry about stupid things like dating or whether ice cream for lunch is a good idea (it is). And even when I have doubts, life is always taking turns for the better, and even the bad intention of one person is instant fodder for the good in others.

11222460_10100817384945842_3861234614518420576_n